Harry Kewell Is At A Crossroads In His Career
I’ve been a Kewell fan since his Leeds United days. His partnership with Mark Viduka at Elland Road was fantastic. While playing for Leeds, he was instrumental to that famous side that played a semi-final of the Uefa Cup (during the 1999-2000 season) and a semi-final of the Uefa Champions League (during the 2000-2001 season).
In the 1999-2000 Uefa Cup tournament, Kewell scored 5 goals and provided 5 assists in 12 games. Unfortunately, Leeds lost in the semi-final against Galatasaray.
The following season, despite being seeded with giants AC Milan and Barcelona in the first group stage, Real Madrid and Lazio in the second group stage, Leeds managed to qualify for the quarter-finals where they defeated Deportivo La Coruna 3-2 on aggregate Again, they lost in the semi-final against Valencia, 3-0 on aggregate. Kewell provided 5 assists in 9 games in the tournament.
Due to the club’s financial difficulties, that amazing team shattered and Kewell left the club in 2003, stating that he had felt ostracized by his teammates.
For Leeds, Kewell scored 63 goals and provided 57 assists in 243 games. In 2003, Kewell signed for Liverpool despite exciting offers from Milan, United or Barcelona. It was alleged that a substantial part of the £5m offer was cashed in by his agent.
In 2005, Kewell became the only Australian-born player to win the Uefa Champions League, playing in the final against Milan and substituted in the first half due to an injury. There were reports that he had been playing the whole season with an undiagnosed hernia.
He played in the 2005-2006 FA Cup final and substituted on 48th minute due to a groin muscle injury. He represented Australia at the 2006 Fifa World Cup, despite not being fully fit. He scored against Croatia to level the score at 2-2 and was awarded Man of the Match. Due to a septic arthritis, he was unable to play against Italy in the knockout stage.
He made a comeback to a football pitch in April 2007, playing for Livepool reserves. He later played in the 2007 Uefa Champions League final. He suffered several injuries that hindered his efforts of clinching a new deal.
For Liverpool, he scored 16 goals and provided 11 assists in 138 games. In 2008, he joined Turkish giants Galatasaray, despite strong criticism from Leeds’ fans. He enjoyed a 3-year spell with the Turkish side, especially during the first 2 seasons. He played 90 games, scoring 34 goals and providing 20 assists. He won the Turkish SuperCup, on his debut, scoring one and assisting another in Galatasaray 2-1 win.
He was instrumental in Australia’s 2011 Asian Cup road to the final and one of the best players of the tournament.
Nowadays, the former Ballon D’or nominee (yes, he was nominated for the prestigious award in 2001) finds himself at a crossroads in his career. He’s a free agent and he seems uncertain of his future. Injuries have plagued him so many times, that the 32-year old is even considering an early retirement.
Perhaps, he will come back to the Premier League as QPR are interested in the Australian player. He is still capable of producing moments of brilliance on a football field (e.g. 2011 Asian Cup), but can he deliver it on a big stage, such as the Premier League? He certainly has the skill to compete at the highest level, but there are doubts regarding his fitness.
I’ve seen him play for Galatasaray: brilliant in the first two seasons, average in his last. Given the unrest at Galata in the past season, it’s hard to blame him though.
In the rumour mill, some say that clubs from Australia and the US are interested in the player as well. When at Liverpool, he declared that a move to the US would be nice at some point in his career.
In my view, it would be nice to see him back in the Premier League. If fortune smiles upon him, who knows? He may even help QPR reach European qualification.
So, what’s it going to be, Harry? QPR? Australia? The US? The world wants to know!
Dear fans, what do you think? Can Harry Kewell impress on the Premier League stage? Can he compete at the highest level? Please let me know.
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